Tips, Tricks, & Transformation

I put together a play set for Ellis for Holy Week this year.  I thought it was really clever and had really high hopes for it- it had a tomb and stone and everything.  Ellis looked at it for a minute, crammed all the people in the tomb, and asked "Mommy, do you want to play dinosaurs?"  

I often pray that God would bring multiplication into our home.  Ellis wants undivided attention I can't always give, so when we do get special time together, I pray that God would multiply that five or ten or twenty minutes into enough for him.  I have also taken to praying that God would finish things for me.  Not that I expect God to take dinner off the stove (but I DO love the timer on my stove top!), but in the things that are left undone: the chapter book I had to stop reading to soothe a fussy baby, the unfinished nap, a little boy's love tank that seems to never really be full.  

All that being said, there are a lot of times that I don't even want to pray for these.  I would rather be resentful or bitter or try harder with what little strength and patience I have left.  I would rather have someone tell me what to do - to give me some sort of trick that I can use to make good with what I have.  I have a whole shelf of (mostly unread) parenting books full of tips and tricks that I have really high hopes for.  As if a trick or a tool or a silly little play thing could change a heart.  

Don't get me wrong, tips and tricks are great.  But I've come to recognize the inclination of my own heart to take the tools rather than seek real transformation.  It's easier to maintain control by doing something and harder to let go and trust that God is the one who softens the hearts of our children.  My tips and tricks and teaching will never add up to anything meaningful if transformation doesn't come alongside it- in my heart as much as in my littles'.  And for all that time that the donkey and Jesus sat lonely and un-played with, the palm branches un-waved, and the stone not rolled away, Ellis greeted his friends at church on Easter morning with a hearty "Jesus is alive!" 
Indeed he is.  💕

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